Decision Maker: Cabinet
Decision status: Recommendations Approved
Is Key decision?: Yes
Is subject to call in?: Yes
The Cabinet was informed of the proposed increases in the council tax premium charged for long-term empty properties with effect from 1 April 2019, and to inform Cabinet of the proposed Council Tax Charges on Empty Properties Policy from April 2019.
Members were reminded that following a change in legislation, Full Council in December 2012 agreed to implement an additional 50% empty property premium with regard to council tax where a domestic property had been unoccupied and unfurnished for 2 years or more. The legislation had been further amended to allow billing authorities to further increase by a defined percentage the amount of empty property premium payable for long-term empty properties within their area.
The report went on to detail the current policy, the proposed changes, exceptions to the empty property premium and the waiving the premium where deemed appropriate.
Members very much welcomed the report and sought clarification as to whether unoccupied but furnished properties could be included in the scheme. The Head of Income and Awards advised that the Regulations were very prescriptive and the property had to be unoccupied and unfurnished. With regard to the assessment used to determine financial hardship, the Head of Income and Awards advised that a robust financial assessment would be carried out and issues such as length of ownership and what steps had been taken to bring the property back into use would be factored in as well.
RESOLVED that Full Council on 28 February be RECOMEMMENDED to:
(i) approve an increase in the amount of council tax premium charged for long-term empty properties with effect from 1 April 2019; and
(ii) approve the Council’s Council Tax Charges on Empty Properties Policy from April 2019.
Report author: Joanne Robinson
Publication date: 08/02/2019
Date of decision: 07/02/2019
Decided at meeting: 07/02/2019 - Cabinet
Effective from: 16/02/2019